David Beckham owning an MLS team in Miami? Yeah, that feels right.


A new Major League Soccer team in Miami is looking like more of a reality after David Beckham and the owner of Bolivia soccer club Bolivar, Marcelo Claure, visited stadiums and met with key political leaders on Saturday.

Beckham, whose contract with the L.A. Galaxy contained an option to create a new team for $25 million, looks poised to link up with Bolivian billionaire Claure to purchase a new MLS team. The duo toured two potential Miami-based venues for the team on Saturday.

The first stop was the 75,000 seat Sun Life stadium, home to the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. The stadium has hosted several international friendlies throughout the years and Dolphins owner Stephen Ross recently set up a soccer division.

After meeting with Ross and Dolphins chief executive Mike Dee, Beckham and Claure visited the 20,000 seat stadium at Florida International University, where Claure is a member of the board of trustees and has previously lobbied the idea of housing an MLS club.

Following the visit Beckham spoke positively about the chance of owning a club in Miami. “I think bringing an MLS team here to South Florida would be… it’s exciting,” Beckham told CBS4 News television. “I think Miami fans are very passionate about their sports and very passionate about winning and of course, it would have to be success but it’s definitely exciting.”

During their visit Beckham and Claure also met with key political figures including the mayor of Miami-Dade County, Carlos Gimenez, and Miami Dade County commissioner Jose ‘Pepe’ Diaz. Gimenez handed Beckham the keys to the city while Diaz stressed there was real backing for a team in Miami. “There is huge political support,” Diaz said. “It is not only from the county, it’s 100 percent support from the municipalities, the mayors and the commissioner, the counselors from the different cities, they are also extremely supportive.”

Beckham and Claure also met with Jose Sotolongo, the executive director of the Miami-Dade Sports Commission, who pushed equally hard for MLS to return to Miami. “We know that our community can support not only the international soccer (friendlies) that have been coming to Miami for a while now, but that it would support an MLS franchise,” Sotolongo told Reuters. “The city of Miami has a very international fan base and a very soccer savvy fan base. This is the kind of ownership group that would electrify the community and hopefully we will get good news,” he said.

Becks even took time to meet with the supporters group, “MLS Miami Bid”, which has been campaigning for a team to come to the city. “I feel really good about it, it looks really positive,” said Julio Caballero, spokesman for MLS Miami Bid. “It is pretty much down to Beckham now, I have heard he will make his decision inside 90 days,” he said. “Beckham will bring something spectacular here – not just his name, but a class organisation to Miami. Claure knows how to run a club. The two together is just what Miami needs for soccer.”

While Beckham and Claure seem quite keen on Miami the pair are said to have other locations in mind as well. Stay tuned to see where they head next.

Klinsmann blames Costa Rica loss on Mexico hangover

Jurgen Klinsmann

The United States lost their third straight match on home soil tonight, the first such losing streak since 1997.

Following an extra-time loss to Mexico on Saturday, the U.S. failed to compete in a friendly against Costa Rica, putting in another poor performance as the side continues to struggle.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

In his post match press conference, Jurgen Klinsmann said his team was still shaking off the loss against Mexico, and couldn’t recover in time for tonight’s game.

Yes, the United States’ match against Mexico went 120 minutes. Yes, it was a very tough game both physically and mentally. However, it’s time for Klinsmann to stop making excuses.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from the USMNT’s loss to Costa Rica ]

Of the starting XI against Costa Rica, only four started against Mexico. Of the six substitutes Klinsmann brought in today, only Bobby Wood played in the Mexico match, and for less than 25 minutes.

The problem isn’t that the U.S. lost tonight; it’s that they didn’t even show up. What Klinsmann needed to do was walk into his press conference and say, “We didn’t come to play tonight. We stunk. That can’t happen and we need to be better. It starts with me.”

[ PLAYER RATINGS: Howard’s return highlights poor performances from USMNT ]

Top teams don’t dwell on past results. Top teams rebound quickly and back up poor performances with strong performances. When a top team would have bounced back, the United States fell flat.

Clearly the argument is, well, the United States isn’t a top team. But isn’t that what Klinsmann was brought in to do? To help develop the USMNT into a top team? The least they could do is act like one, and that starts with the manager.

College Soccer Update: Tragedy strikes USC Upstate with horrible car accident

USC Upstate
USC Upstate
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No interviews today. No star players and programs. Just mourning.

USC Upstate lost four students earlier this week, two of them men’s soccer players, in an early morning car accident this weekend. A fifth was injured when the car they were driving in ran off the road, hit a tree, and caught fire.

James Campbell and Mills Sproul are the soccer players who’ve left the pitch for the final time.

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USC Upstate’s athletic department held a candelight vigil on Monday, and honored both players with online memorials.

From Campbell’s, entitled “James Campbell Was an Intense Player Whose Competitiveness Made Those Around Him Play Harder”:

While Kyle Juell and James attended different high schools, they played club soccer together. “James was intense and passionate on the field,” Juell said. “He was the kind of aggressive player you wanted as a teammate. He was fun and warm and full of life and he cared so much about his teammates.”

From Sproul’s, entitled “Mills Sproul Put the Needs of Others Before His Own and Was Accepting of All”:

Mills’ teammate Deon Rose said that Mills was like the brother he never had.

“The first time I met him, I knew that he was special,” Rose said. “Not because he asked me if we had beaches in Canada or how Canadians survived without Chick-fil-A, but because he had an unconditional love for everyone and everything.”

Our thoughts are with the USC Upstate team, and entire community. Rest in peace.

Three stars of the week

1. University of California Santa Barbara — The Gauchos leapt from “receiving votes” to No. 14 in the nation. The Gauchos have won five-straight, all in-state, by a combined score of 13-3.

2. Joey Piatczyc, West Virginia — The midfielder leads the nation in assists with 12, one coming in Tuesday’s upset of Penn State, a match in which he also scored his first of the year. The Mountaineers shocked PSU with a 3-0 home win in Morgantown.

3. Francis Atuahene and Colin McAtee, Michigan — The Ghanaian freshman is a lightning bolt, and keeps producing goals along with the redshirt senior McAtee, who hails from San Diego. The Wolverines beat Duquesne 3-0 on Tuesday.

Other notes

— Creighton dropped two of its 24 first place votes, one each to North Carolina and Stanford, but remains the No.1 men’s team in the nation.

— Wake Forest hasn’t allowed a goal in three matches, against quality competition in NC State, South Carolina and Boston College. There were stretches in the 2-0 win over South Carolina where they looked unbeatable.

— Speaking of the Demon Deacons, they’ll face dangerous UNC on Saturday in what will be a cracker.

— Also No. 1:Florida State (Women’s D-1), Gannon (Women’s D-2), Trinity of Texas (Women’s D-3), Pfeiffer (Men’s D-2), Franklin & Marshall (Men’s D-3).